Tuesday, May 22, 2012

John Blakeman on T2 of the Franklin Institute Nest Plus Pale Male and Zena's Eyasses and Mama and Papa"s Eyasses-One Formel and One Tiercel?

                  Pale Male and Zena's eyasses courtesy of http://www.palemale.com/
          Some eyasses prefer the shade and some don't. 
 Screen capture courtesy of               T2 AND THE STEP-EYASSES
I asked John Blakeman for his thoughts on the amazing T2.  The new  tiercel at the Franklin Institute nest who took up step-dad duties for the three eyasses with a vengeance.  

Plus whether the rumors he would be doing a Red-tailed Hawk seminar in Philadelphia were true.


The T2 saga at the FI is remarkable. I know of no other instances of this, where a floating haggard came in and essentially took all the functional duties of a very recently killed resident haggard, right at the start of the brooding of hatched eyasses.
The behavioral adaptations required for this are remarkable. We falconers see and know the full hunting and killing powers and mind-sets of Red-tails. It's remarkable in and of itself that tiercels can convert themselves from hunter/killers to food providers and feeders of their own eyasses. But in this case, the new tiercel came in, almost instantly, and took up those duties. The hormonal and psychological mechanisms of this are astonishing.
And finally, T2 carefully feeds his step-eyasses. Who'da thunk?
An FI Blakeman appearance or program is quite tenuous just yet; mere talk among chatroom posters, as far as I know. The matter of expenses might be constraining. I'm in no position to get myself to Philadelphia for a day or two by my own resources, so an Amtrak ride and a night or two in some hotel would have to be accommodated, along with getting me around the city. I have no idea how to utilize cabs or buses or subways. I'd be utterly flummoxed with all of that, in any big city.
But I do have a fine digital slide show on raptors, and I'm (dare I say) extremely good in front of keen audiences. I do hawk talks around Ohio (and prairie programs, too).
--John Blakeman

Thanks John. :)  T2 is a mind boggler.  There are so many questions.  Why did Franklin Mom not run him out of the territory?  Did she know him?  Rather like Pale Male and First Love, who went to rehab for too long and PM bonded again.  The second mate died so he took up with F. L. again. Could this be similar.


But with eyasses on the nest?  The fact that he feeds them himself means to me that he's an older experienced tiercel.  As far as I know, and also I think you may have pointed out, the careful feeding of eyasses by a tiercel is something that doesn't really happen in younger males.  In fact it doesn't always happen in older males.  I've never seen Pale Male feed, though he does appear to love sitting on eggs. :)

Or did T2 loose his family this season, was in the proper hormonal stage, and that's why he took to Franklin Mom and her brood?

It drives me crazy that we'll very likely never know definitely why he's acted as he has!

As to trips to a "big city" for a underwritten seminar/slide show, you never know.  And  I wouldn't let the vagaries of city transportation stand in your way.  For a novice, cabs are the way to go.  Just make sure you know the address; a mistake I made on my first trip to NYC.  I wanted to go to the American Museum of Natural History.  A friend said, you don't need the address, every cabbie in NYC knows where the Natural History Museum is.  Wrong.  I got the one cab driver in NYC who didn't. :)

And last but not least, an American factoid-- According to PBS, Yellowstone National Park includes half of the geothermal features on the Earth.

 I did my nightly check of Mama and Papa's nest in Queens expecting to once again see Mama keeping vigil and the two eyasses basically looking like a couple of mounds of feathers snuggled into the nest.  Instead there the eyasses were standing up, totally awake, staring at their mother.  Hmmm.  Has there been an attack on the nest?  A repeat of the likely Great Horned Owl attack in which an eyass was likely snatched?  Well, Mama did some swishing around with her wings that was a little worrisome.

I scrutinized.  Wait.  Mama appears to be preening.

And before long, both the eyassess tucked their heads like grown up hawks and went to sleep standing up.  No more nightly feather piles?

Beyond that, the soon to be fledglings,  are in stances in which they are completely comparable.  Check it out.  It looks like Mama and Papa have a formel, right, and a tiercel, left!

Happy Hawking!
Donegal Browne

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